A new statue of Joseph Stalin has been unveiled in the southern Russian town of Digora to mark the 126th anniversary of the Soviet-era dictator's birth.
Stalin is still revered in parts of the former Soviet Union
In Moscow, Russian Communist Party supporters braved wintry weather to visit Stalin's grave in Red Square.
And commemorations were held in Stalin's birthplace, Gori in Georgia.
A number of monuments to the former leader have been erected in Russian towns in recent years, drawing protests from human rights activists.
More than three dozen residents of the North Ossetian town of Digora turned out for the unveiling of the 5m (16ft) bust of Stalin, which sits on a granite obelisk.
Stalin's remains are buried at the foot of the Kremlin wall in Moscow
Many carried the Soviet flag with its hammer and sickle, and children wore Soviet-style red kerchiefs and saluted, news agencies reported.
"Under Stalin, every year we waited for improvements and every year there were improvements. It's a fact," the sculptor, Mikhail Dzboyev, said.
But human rights activists criticised them for honouring someone who "stands for tyranny, dictatorship and bloodshed".
"The decision to erect a monument in North Ossetia shows that the country has not drawn lessons from history," human rights activist Alexander Bord was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying.